Kerala boat mishap: Teenager`s body found; toll hits 45
Thekkady: The body of 19-year-old Abhilash was recovered by Navy divers from Kerala`s Thekkady lake Sunday morning, taking the toll from Wednesday`s boat capsize to 45, officials said.
Abhilash was the last of those listed as missing after the boat tragedy in the lake in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
"The body of 19-year-old Abhilash from Hyderabad was recovered after it was found floating near the accident site. The navy is likely to call off their search operation soon," Kumily Circle Inspector Anil Sreenivas said.
Three bodies, including that of Abhilash`s 14-year-old sister Apoorva, were recovered Saturday. Their bodies would be transported to Hyderabad from Kochi later Sunday.
Sreenivas added that the state police intelligence department has confirmed that a couple from Mysore, who were reported to be in Thekkady but their whereabouts were not known, were back in their hometown.
The double-decker boat owned by the state-run Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) capsized Wednesday evening.
The dead include 14 from Tamil Nadu, 12 from Delhi, seven from Andhra Pradesh, five from West Bengal, three each from Karnataka and Kerala and one from Mumbai.
The double-decker fiberglass boat that capsized had been pressed into service just last month. Chief Boat Inspector M. Mathews had Friday given a clean chit to the boat and said it might have capsized because the driver made a sharp turn.
The Crime Branch of the police, which is inquiring into the accident, is to submit its report to the government on Monday.
KTDC had Saturday suspended boat driver Victor Samuel and two other staff members. Samuel, who is convalescing in a hospital near here, had said that he was not experienced enough to drive this new boat.
The state government has already announced that they would initiate a judicial probe into the incident by a sitting judge.
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